Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tamashii Ramen in Astoria, Queens

The ramen trend is still ever popular, with restaurants specializing in the Japanese noodle soup opening up all over the place. I recently enjoyed a meal at Tamashii Ramen in Astoria, Queens. What sets Tamashii Ramen apart from many others is their more healthful approach to making ramen. For example, while many ramen eateries use pork in their broth, Tamashii uses whole chickens and vegetables, and then simmer for 14 hours. If you think you'll miss the extra fat, you're wrong. The broth may be less unctuous, but it's still very flavorful.

Fried chicken salad

Tamashii Ramen also boasts wonderful service. During my recent visit, the staff was very helpful and hospitable, and even provided us with an additional starter free of charge! We actually got to try the fried chicken salad with delicious ginger dressing as a special treat.

Pork buns $6.50

We also selected several starters in addition to our freebie. I absolutely love the pork buns here. Japanese-style pork buns feature a fluffy bun wrapped around melt-in-your-mouth slices of roast pork, greens, and sauce. This is a decadent treat, but a visit to any ramen shop is incomplete without it.

Pork gyoza $5.50

An order of pork gyoza is another welcome addition to our pre-ramen table. These are made with store-bought skins (not homemade) but they are still really tasty, with perfectly crisp bottoms and a light dipping sauce.

Takoyaki $5.25

Our most unusual starter was the takoyaki, which is a wheat flour-based batter filled with minced octopus, and served with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and shaved bonito flakes. It's served piping hot and piled high with delicate bonito, which seem to dance and sway from the steam. It's almost creepy seeing your food moving like that, but after a bite of these delectable fritters, it's forgotten.

Tamashii ramen $10.95

Onto the ramen! The house ramen is served with the light, but flavorful broth (seasoned with mineral salt), chasyu (pork), egg, scallions, seaweed, and menma (fermented bamboo shoots). This wasn't mine, but I must say it looks exquisite!

Chasyu ramen $11.95

I actually opted for the chasyu ramen, which features the same broth as the tamashii ramen, additional chasyu (pork) slices, onion, bean sprouts, bok choy, ginger and cabbage. I envied the egg from the traditional ramen, but I really loved having some extra slices of tender pork. The broth is so flavorful, yet light, that I don't miss the extra richness from a heavier pork broth.

All in all, this was a wonderful culinary adventure to yet another delicious find in the neighborhood of Astoria (my old 'hood). I really love exploring the smaller neighborhoods in New York City and finding wonderful restaurants. It just goes to show that even outside of Manhattan there is a whole culinary world just waiting for hungry visitors!

Tamashii Ramen
2905 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 278-5888


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